This recipe for Carbonara is as classic and authentic as it can get! It’s extremely easy as well as fast with a handful of quality ingredients. Loaded with cheese, creamy eggs and pancetta or guanciale. Ready in 15 minutes!
- 4 – 6 oz. Pancetta or Guanciale, cut into 1/4″ cubes
- 1 Tbsp. good olive oil (for sautéing)
- 1 lb. imported Italian dried spaghettoni noodles (the largest size of spaghetti, do not use ‘spaghettini’, ‘angel hair’ or thin spaghetti)
- 1 tsp. salt (for the pasta water), freshly ground, if possible
- 2 jumbo eggs, plus 1 egg yolk (per person) at room temperature (so double this for 4 servings)
- 1/2 cup freshly-grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- (or use 1 cup of either cheese, depending on your preference)
- Freshly-cracked black pepper (generous amount)
- Extra grated Parmigiano cheese to garnish individually
- Optional – diced Italian parsley for garnish
- In a very tall stock pot, boil 4 – 6 quarts of water with the salt added.
- Add the pasta to the salted boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, removing pasta from hot water 1 minute before it becomes ‘al dente’ (because the pasta continues to cook a bit).
While pasta is boiling
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil (do not burn it).
- Add pancetta or guanciale; sauté over medium heat; cook until pork has released the fat and edges are crispy and golden brown; about 3 minutes, making certain that the pork isn’t cooked too crisp and you can visibly see the liquid fat from the pork sizzling in the pan.
- Reduce stove heat to warm and keep the skillet of pancetta/guanciale on the heat.
- While the pasta is cooking, break the full eggs and extra egg yolk into a small bowl.
- Add cheese and gently whisk until mixture is smooth.
- Drain pasta, reserving about ½ cup of the hot pasta water.
- Place the pasta in the warm skillet with the pancetta or guanciale and turn off the stove.
- Toss quickly to mix well for one minute.
- Remove the skillet from the heat (If you have a warm spot or a food warmer, place the skillet there to toss the pasta) and continue to stir the pasta in the skillet quickly for another minute.
- If necessary, add a little bit of the hot pasta water to the pasta and sautéed pork, about ⅛ cup at first to get it silky and creamy.
- Pour the egg and cheese mixture into the pan.
- Stir quickly again so the eggs don’t thicken to the point of becoming ‘scrambled eggs’. Remember that it is vital that you work fast during the stirring or the pasta will get cold and as a result the raw eggs will not cook and the ‘sauce’ will be runny. The heat of the pasta cooks the egg and a creamy sauce should form. (NOTE – If the mixture is too thick, add a tiny bit of the hot pasta water to reach your desired consistency, which should be creamy).
- Season very generously with freshly cracked black pepper.
- Transfer to individual heated bowls or plates and serve immediately.
- Sprinkle with more freshly-grated cheese.
- Serve immediately while hot!
- Serving Size: 2